UIL team takes second place at district

Students advance to Regionals for next round


The UIL team shows off their medals after the competition.

Kaline Martinez, Editor

With masks and six-feet social distancing guidelines back in place for the event, Buffalo High School hosted the UIL District meet, both academics and speech and debate. With two separate dates for competition, the annual event ended with BHS raking in three first-place team championships as well as second place overall.

The first day kicked off with Number Sense and Ready Writing, with senior Asa Henson, junior John Cocking, and freshmen Aiden Savage and Logan Walker competing in  Number Sense. The Ready Writing team consisted of juniors Jazlyn Early and Ashley White and freshmen Nicollette Arabie. Henson placed fourth in number sense, while Early placed second and Arabie placed third in ready writing. 

“I’m excited to advance that it caught me by surprise when it was announced,” Early said. “I felt like I didn’t even know what I was doing at first, but I guess I did okay. I can’t wait to compete at the next level.”

The Currents Events team consisted of Henson, junior Omar Almeida and sophomores Lindsey Hardin and Lane Freeman. All team members placed individually; Henson took first, Hardin placed third, Freeman placed fourth, and Almeida placed sixth. Their team won overall. 

“I felt pretty confident in myself because I do keep up with the latest news,” Henson said. “I’m glad we’re moving onto the next round.”

The Journalism team took first place overall. The Copying Editing team consisted of senior Kaline Martinez and juniors Sherlynn Rodriguez and April Martinez; they all placed individually; Sherlynn took first place, Kaline came in second place and April took third place. In News Writing, Kaline took first place and Early took fourth place. In Feature Writing, April took first place, Sherlynn took second place and Kaline took fourth place. In Editorial Writing, Kaline took third and junior Emma Adams came in sixth place. In the final journalism event, Headline Writing, Adams took fifth place and April took sixth place. 

“My events were all back-to-back, so I pretty much spent the whole day in one single room. I’m really proud of myself that I placed in all of my events,” Kaline said. “I was really shocked when my teammates told me I had placed because by the end of the editorial writing event, my brain was fried. I think I just napped the rest of that day.”

Henson added to his medal count with a first in Social Studies and a sixth place in Mathematics. The accounting team placed in the top six rankings; Cocking placed fourth, junior Catch Thompson took fifth place and Karsyn Moore took sixth place. Their team, which also included Pari Jariwala, took second overall. 

“I think I just glanced at the accounting review packet and went with the flow,” Cocking said. “Everything was common sense so I stuck with that kind of mindset and hoped for the best.”

Speech and Debate took place on Monday, and those points, along with points earned by OAP and CX Debate earlier in the year, went into the BHS total. Junior Jalea Brown took first place in LD debate and received high point LD speaker, along with junior Anthony Gonzalez who took fourth place in the same event. 

“I’ve never expected it, I was really surprised and shocked I made it,” Jalea said. “I’m really excited and I can’t wait.”

Senior Kyle Hurst and junior Ashley White placed in Poetry; Hurst came in fourth place and White took first place. Junior Omar Almeida took first place in Prose and in Persuasive Speaking. Freshmen Emma Cocking took second place in Informative Speaking and Nicollette Arabie took fifth place in Prose. 

“I was really surprised I had gotten fourth place because I thought my pieces were good and I thought I had presented them well,” Hurst said. “Although I didn’t get what I wanted, I’m still glad I’m an alternate.”

Currents Events, Speech and Journalism all earned first-place team and BHS finished in second place overall. Students placing first-third will advance to Regionals in the hope of getting to state in their event. Regionals will be held at Barbers Hill High School on April 17. OAP will also compete in Regionals on April 16 in Houston. For the students in both, it will mean several days away working to advance.

“I’m very excited to spend a couple of days in Houston, and I really hope all of us make it to state,” Nicollette said. “I’m ready to put in the work to feel prepared for the next UIL competition.”